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How Do I Meal Plan As A Busy Mom? | Q &A

Question from my email: How do I find time to meal plan as a busy mom? This is exactly how I got discouraged the last time I tried going vegan. Finding the time and energy to meal plan and prepare meals in advance is hard for me. Especially, when I have to chase my 7 month old all over the house...LOL! Basically, the only free time I have is on the weekends. Who wants to spend the entire weekend meal planning and stuck in the house? Not me....that's who! Any tips and ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Answer: I know what you mean about not wanting to spend all weekend on meal planning!

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

TIP #1

Think about what you're already eating and figure out how to make those meals vegan.

For instance, if you eat spaghetti, you can easily make this vegan by using vegan crumble, lentils or mushrooms in place of ground beef/turkey. 

There's a vegan replacement for any ingredient you can think of!

Related: Watch me make vegan spaghetti in this video...

This spaghetti is familiar, simple and delicious!

Get out there and start exploring options and replace your non-vegan ingredients with healthier and more compassionate vegan ones.

Few examples of vegan replacements:

Cow's milk ---> Almond coconut or soy milk for cooking and cereal

Ground beef/turkey ---> Vegan crumbles (Beyond Meat is a good brand), lentils or mushrooms

Cheese ----> Field Roast chao slices and vegan queso on nachos are great options


TIP #2

Get in the habit of checking sites like Pinterest and YouTube for recipe ideas.  

Commit to 5-10 minutes a day to gather recipes for the next time you go grocery shopping. Taking this step will cut down on overwhelm when it's time to grocery shop.

Use the search term "vegan recipes" in Pinterest and YouTube to check out options. 

Also, check out vegan cookbooks from the library for recipes.

I use the eatWell menu planner from Inkwell Press and love how I can quickly jot down ingredients we run out of and meals I will make the following week.


TIP #3

I used to plan all seven days at a time, grocery shop, then come home and cook. All of this left me overwhelmed and discouraged. When you're just starting, ease into vegan life with just a few days of meal planning then build on that.

You can make wraps, veggie burgers, slow cook meals, etc.

Be sure to make enough for leftovers, so you have fewer meals to plan.

It also helps to keep your breakfast meal the same during this time, so you don’t even have to think about it. 

Here's a 3-day meal plan incorporating leftovers & only one breakfast:

Day #1

Breakfast -- oatmeal and fresh fruit

Lunch -- veggie wrap on whole-wheat wrap with hummus, red bell pepper, zucchini, salt & pepper

Dinner -- vegan red beans & rice in the slow cooker and a simple salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrots & balsamic vinaigrette

Day #2

Breakfast -- oatmeal and fresh fruit

Lunch -- leftover veggie wrap on whole-wheat wrap with hummus, red bell pepper, zucchini, salt & pepper

Dinner -- leftover vegan red beans & rice in the slow cooker

Day #3

Breakfast -- oatmeal and fresh fruit

Lunch -- Pasta salad with fresh fruit, carrot sticks & hummus

Dinner -- Veggie burger, roasted potatoes (or store-bought fries from a brand like Alexia) and steamed broccoli seasoned with garlic powder, black pepper, and salt

Be gentle with yourself, take your time and I promise it will get better once you get a nice routine down.

You've got this!

P.S. I shared more tips in this podcast episode called, Stop Spending All Weekend Meal Planning

>> Listen here <<


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